The Good Wife
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She woke up with a smile on her face and turned to her husband’s side of the bed. He was already up. She smiled, waiting for him to come in and wish her a happy birthday in his usually extravagant way.
She relaxed in bed. She didn’t have to be up to prepare for work just yet.
With an annoyed sigh, she got up ten minutes later when she felt he was taking too long. She could hear him humming to himself in the kitchen and she smiled. Was he making her breakfast? She walked down to the kitchen and crept up behind him as he washed the dishes. She put her arms around him and hugged him close, waiting for him to laugh and turn around.
“Tunde are you alright?” she asked him, facing him.
He threw her an annoyed look and went back to his humming and rinsing.
“Ahn ahn! Did i do anything wrong?” she asked, her scanty eyebrows furrowed in an expression of worry.
“Look woman, you’re disturbing me. Let me wash these plates, eat my food and leave!”
She was shocked.
She left his side and sat down on the stool beside the cooker, thinking. Had she done anything yesterday? She couldn’t remember any offense she could have committed to warrant his sudden harshness. Tears of anger stung her eyes as she got up and angrily left the kitchen, almost hitting her daughter, Gbemi.
“Mummy goodmorning” she muttered, going into the kitchen.
She was rooted to the spot.
Gbemi knew it was her birthday today didn’t she? And what was with the lacklustre greeting anyway? Was she now growing teenage wings? She almost went back into the kitchen when her baby, Dayo passed her. Normally, he’d hug her as he said his morning greetings.
“Morning” he muttered, staring down as he walked past her, to join his sister.
She stared at them in disbelief.
“Since when did this one start?” she asked them, and without waiting for an answer, she stomped off to prepare for work.
She was in a foul mood, as she typed out the minutes for the meeting just concluded. Her desk was littered with cards from her colleagues and a bouquet of beautiful flowers from her boss. Looking at them only made her angrier.
“Common strangers can remember my birthday but my family didn’t.” she muttered under her breath as she punched hard on a letter J on the keyboard.
“No, i’m sure they rememebered. I don’t even know what stunt Tunde’s pulling! He had better make up for this big time!”
She checked her phone for the umpteenth time, waiting for that text message or that missed call from her husband to reassure her that she was still special.
Suddenly, she wondered if he was seeing another woman. Conversations she had with her friend, Modupe at work ran through her mind. Modupe’s husband’s infidelity started from his sudden lack of communication and taciturn behaviour.
Was that what was happening?
With a renewed fury of a woman scorned, she stabbed furiously at the black keys bringing her typing to an end.
“I’d kill that woman, whoever she is!”
“Bisi, my dear, happy birthday again! I was wondering if you would love to have dinner with me?” A polite excuse about making dinner for her husband almost left her lips when she remembered Tunde’s wrong. To hell with him!
“Sure Sir” she replied to her boss, smiling a little.
“Has anyone ever told you about your lovely smile?”
She blushed. That was the first time he was complimenting her.
“Thank you Sir” she whispered.
They left together and he treated her at one of the expensive diners on the Island. She thoroughly enjoyed the food and conversation, despite herself and suddenly, she wished she didn’t have to leave.
“Would like to come over to my house? He whispered, smiing in what she felt was a suggestive manner, after they got into his car.
She stared at him. She suddenly realised he wasn’t a bad looking man. His torso wasn’t the most chiselled but she his slight pot belly oddly attractive. Feeling adventorous, she nodded, smiling in her head at the thoughts of vengeance on her husband.
“I’m coming. I’ve got something for you” Ernest said, touching her knee slightly and grinning as he got up from the sofa, where they were seated, like old friends. Yes, they were now on a first name basis. Guilt pricked her conscience. She was a married woman!
What she doing in the home of her widowed boss? She was supposed to be with her family. And just because Tunde hadn’t wished her a happy birthday, did not mean he was cheating. A memory forgotten, came unbidden to her mind. She had found a scrap of paper in his pockets as she took out his clothes for washing, two weeks ago with an initial E. and an address. He had said it was a contact detail of an acquaintance he had jotted and she believed him.
She was a fool!
It all made sense now! Even his late coming yesterday! Meeting an acquaintance he had said. Acquiantance her foot!
Since that was the game he wanted play…
She smiled humourlessly as she took off her office clothes. Ernest had been throwing hints at her all evening. She was ready to have her own fun and cut off her own pound of flesh.
She heard his footsteps and she quickly unhooked her bra, glad she was wearing the black lacy one Tunde found terribly sexy.
He came back in, and she struggled to understand the look of confusion on his face.
Wasn’t this what he wanted?
She heard another set of footsteps, and her head swivelled in confusion, suddenly worried that one of his children was home.
She heard the voices she knew so well and her heart fled from her mouth.
“Mummy! Mummy! Mogbe! I’m finished”
“Bisi kilode?? Talk to me!”
How could she explain to her mother?
How could she explain the look on the faces of her husband, and her children as the saw her half naked, scrambling for her clothes?
The look of disbelief in Tunde’s eyes as he carried a cake that had her name on it?
It had all been an act, a surprise.
Fresh tears brimmed in her eyes and she dropped the phone, falling to the ground, weeping, her mother’s worried voice, frantically calling her name from the speaker.
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